The town of Viterbo is located about 65 kilometres north of Rome.
In 1718, Viterbo was one of the towns which King James III and VIII suggested as an appropriate place for his residence. Pope Clement XI, however, refused, on account of the fact that "there were too many spies in the neighbourhood". 1
The following year, King James III and VIII came to this town immediately prior to his wedding. He arrived August 28th, and took up residence in the episcopal palace. It was here that he first met his bride, Princess Clementina Sobieska, before their wedding in Montefiascone on September 1. "According to Cordara a lapidary inscription of Viterbo records the meeting". 2
On May 18, 1725, King James and Queen Clementina returned to Viterbo. They visited the Monastery of Santa Rosa, to venerate the relics of this saint, and were the guests of the Marchese Andrea Maidalchini. 3
King Charles III visited Viterbo early in 1768. 4 He returned in August 1769 to Viterbo to take the waters and remained here "through the autumn". 5 He paid another similar visit here in November 1770. 6 Charles' wedding to Princess Louise of Stolberg was originally planned to take place in Viterbo in 1772; instead it took place in Macerata. 7
In October 1776 Henry, Cardinal Duke of York (later King Henry IX and I) made a trip to Viterbo; he stayed just outside the town on Monte Palanzana in Villa Balestra, the summer residence of the bishop of Viterbo. 8 In December 1785 King Charles III and his daughter the Duchess of Albany passed through Viterbo on their way from Florence to Rome. Henry, Cardinal Duke of York, met them at Viterbo and accompanied them back to Rome. 9
1 Peggy Miller, James (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1971), 240.
2 Alice Shield and Andrew Lang, The King Over the Water (London: Longmans, Green, 1907), 338-339. "Cordara" is probably Giulio Cesare Cordara (1704-1785) who wrote a description of the Prince Regent's Scottish expedition. Amy Vitteleschi, A Court in Exile (London: Hutchinson, 1903), I, 107-108, concurs that James and Clementina first met at Viterbo ("the Princess arrived at Viterbo. . . . On reaching the episcopal palace the Princess saw . . . [James] who . . . led her into the palace"). Other works suggest that James and Clementina first met at Montefiascone (where there is also supposedly an inscription). A letter of August 29th from James (under the alias of Peter Knight) to William Dicconson was written from Montefiascone, and another letter of August 30th from James to the Duke of Mar comes from the same city (Stuart Papers at Windsor Castle, volume 44, items 77 and 84).
3 Feliciano Bussi, Istoria della Città di Viterbo (Rome: Nella Stamperia del Bernabò, e Lazzarini, 1748), 342.
4 Frank McLynn, Charles Edward Stuart: A Tragedy in Many Acts (London: Routledge, 1988), 485.
5 McLynn, 487-488.
6 McLynn, 490.
7 McLynn, 499.
8 Mary Jane Cryan, Vetralla: The English Connection (Vetralla, Italy: Davide Ghaleb, 2001), 24-25.
9 McLynn, 547.